The blockchain platform fighting climate change in the amazon rainforest.

When we hear about blockchain, its inevitably in relation to Bitcoin. But blockchain is a technology that goes way beyond this.

When blockchain first began to enter our psyche it referred to a digital coin — Bitcoin. Without going into a full technical history, Bitcoin was developed as a currency with no central bank or government control. Computers were used to solve mathematical equations and solving these puzzles, people were rewarded with Bitcoin, which had a value. This was called “mining”. As one puzzle was solved, the equations became more difficult, so the computing power required to solve them increased.

This digital currency had to be traded on a platform and that’s where the blockchain comes in. Each transaction had to be validated and confirmed by thousands of computers (“nodes”) through a Proof of Work system. Over time, this computer power has increased exponentially with a recent report saying that the electrical carbon footprint of crypto is of a similar intensity as the entire nation of Norway.

Others dispute this claim, that many miners use renewable energy sources to power their computers. Whatever the real number, it is a cause for concern. But on the positive side, it is being discussed and there are many calls for change.

So, with all the negativity around Bitcoin, why on earth would Earth Rewards use blockchain to power its rewards programme?

Whilst there’s huge debate surrounding cryptocurrencies’ carbon footprints, blockchain itself has been praised as having the potential to be a pivotal asset in the fight for climate action. “As countries, regions, cities and businesses work to rapidly implement the Paris Climate Change Agreement, they need to make use of all innovative and cutting-edge technologies available. Blockchain could contribute to greater stakeholder involvement, transparency and engagement and help bring trust and further innovative solutions in the fight against climate change, leading to enhanced climate actions,” said Alexandre Gellert Paris, Associate Programme Officer at the UNFCCC. Source: unfccc.int.

Meet Hachiko: The blockchain platform built by Earth Rewards, to help protect the planet.

Hachiko is named after a Japanese Akita whose loyalty became a story for the ages. When his owner failed to show up one day at their usual spot, Hachiko continued to wait for nine years in the same place following his owner’s death. The Hachiko Blockchain pays homage and takes a drop of the devotion and loyalty he had, by creating an app that helps thousands of people across the world help the planet.

Hachiko tokenises carbon credits which are issued in one tonne denominations, and divides them into 1,000 units (1kg CO2e), making them into highly attainable Earth Rewards Points.

What are Earth Rewards points?

Their main feature is that they can be used the app to offset carbon emissions. The points can be collected, earned and even swapped between friends and family.

Through the app, thousands of people earn and redeem their ER points, recorded and facilitated by the blockchain to make offsetting carbon emissions smooth and secure. The points are collected and redeemed to offset carbon emissions from a person’s carbon footprint. The more points that are collected in-app, the more our community are supporting the Trocano Project — our carbon offsetting partners in the Amazon Rainforest which protects 1.3 million hectares of area from deforestation. It conserves the biodiversity that’s there too and the communities that live there too. Earth Rewards points help them continue protecting trees from deforestation as well as nurture biodiversity and help local communities.

What is a carbon offset?

A carbon offset is an offset certificate that is awarded to verified and certified carbon projects by certified bodies for every tonne of CO2 that is avoided through the implementation of the project. These are achieved thanks to their efforts in achieving planet-positive actions like forest protection, conservation, and carbon capture.

How does Hachiko minimise its environmental impact?

For Hachiko to do all this with a minimal impact on the environment we needed to use an alternative method of blockchain transaction confirmation. The Proof of Work method Bitcoin uses was obviously not an option for us, so we implemented Hachiko with a Proof of Authority algorithm instead. This means that the number of nodes required to complete a transaction are minimal, significantly reducing the computer power needed, plus making the transaction much faster to complete than a traditional Proof of Work transaction. This means that the carbon impact of a transaction of Earth Rewards tokens on Hachiko is no greater than a Visa card transaction or sending a text message.

Having dealt with the mitigation of negative impacts of using blockchain for their “engine”, the development of Hachiko opened up some cool opportunities to benefit all the Earth Rewards app users.

The Wallet

Every Earth Rewards app user is issued with a secure, unique blockchain wallet that’s embedded within the app and used to collect, store and transact their ER points. This is all happening totally seamlessly and provides every user with an immutable, secure and private record of all their points and transactions. The only identifying factor needed for this is an email address, and any data collected is aggregated.

Point of Truth

Hachiko holds all Earth Rewards points that are in existence, and acts as a source of truth, which means that no point or related carbon offset can be duplicated or double counted.

Peer to Peer Transactions

Earth Rewards points can be transferred from wallet to wallet by a simple in-app transaction. The sender and receiver become the only required verifiers to complete the transaction, using our proof of authority approach.

Ready to do something about your impact on the planet?

Download the Earth Rewards app and start to track and offset your carbon footprint now. Register as a user to open your own eco-wallet on Hachiko.

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